It took a lot of late nights, tedious paperwork, and tireless networking — but the hard work paid off. The TEDx&Talks club hosted its inaugural TEDx Suffolk University event, bringing eight impressive speakers and four musical performances to campus. 

Logo for TEDx Suffolk UniversityFor club president Abdulla Khoory, Class of 2017, the evening exploring a central theme of “Economies of the Future” was a year in the making. 

“I’ve always been a huge fan of TED talks,” said Khoory. “I wanted to bring TEDx to campus to inspire students and spark change.”

Khoory’s club held two smaller events this year with outside speakers, one on the future of “smart cities” and another on the sharing economy. Building on those successes, the club took on the ambitious task of organizing a full evening of programming to be recorded for the TEDx series. The choice of topic, however, was simple:
“Everyone is focused on the economy right now, on new and changing industries, and on what the landscape will be when they’re job-hunting after graduation,” said Khoory, a marketing and finance double major.

Location, location, location

The club’s student creative consultant, Alex Bennett, Class of 2017, an entrepreneurship major with a minor in media and film, cited Suffolk’s location as a major factor in making their event work.
“Being in the heart of Boston is what has allowed us to attract such impressive speakers,” he said.

Bennett also credits the members of the club for contributing their individual strengths. While he’s most comfortable with in-person meet-ups, Khoory excels at research and LinkedIn networking — and while Bennett has the infectious enthusiasm needed to motivate the group, Khoory’s pragmatism ensured that all the details fell into place. 

Bennett and Khoory hope the excitement they’ve generated with their sold-out event will encourage other groups to bring expert speakers to campus. 
“Economies of the Future” is the inaugural TEDx Suffolk University event, but the club members hope it will be the first of many. They are confident other talented members of the TEDx&Talks club will carry the torch when Bennett, Khoory and others graduate this May — and would like to see more students get involved

“Economies of the Future”

The sold-out event took place on the evening of Monday, April 24. Details are available on the event website. Following the established TEDx format, each talk lasted no more than 18 minutes. Speakers and their topics include:

  • Daniel Dippold: “Artificial Intelligence - the next top of the food chain?”
    President, The Kairos Society Switzerland / PROJECT Beteiligungen / START Global / The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Michael Neece: "The Networked Economy Requires We Think Differently In Order To Solve The Biggest Problem Affecting Every Worker."
    President of Jenyta Networks /Start-up Advisor / Investor 
  • Jodi-Tatiana Charles
    Director of small and diverse business engagement - Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce 
  • Emily Burns: “Artificial Intelligence & the Sharing Economy - How we are re-shaping the future & creating a creative renaissance.”
    CEO & founder, Learnivore 
  • Marjo Koivisto: "Investing in Emergent Economies of the Future - how probabilistic futurists would approach an investment opportunity in a world of big data, platform economies and time-space compression"
    Lead, Economics and Finance Programme, Global Leadership Fellow, World Economic Forum / The World Bank, Private Sector Development / Postdoctoral Scholar, Harvard University / LSE, PHD  
  • John McDonnell: "An international brand case study “Craft Spirits: The New Global Economy in Action”
    Managing director, Tito’s Vodka 
  • Justin Park: "The Emerging Space Economy - how low-cost, reusable access to space will enable nano-satellites constellations, lunar robotics, asteroid mining, micro-gravity manufacturing, and tourism."
    Cofounder & president at Intergalactic Education LLC / The Swiss Institute of Technology / NASA / Booz Allen Hamilton /International Space University 
  • Renee Richardson Gosline: “How behavioral science and technology are changing the way we perform and make decisions about our money, time, and health.”
    MIT Sloan School of Management / Harvard Business School

Musical performances will be given by Jose Antonio Coka, Agata Kulis, Anastassiya Petrova, and the Suffolk Rampage Choir.

TEDx&Talks Club

TEDx&Talks club members Alex Bennett, Nicole Cacchiotti, Thea Madan, Abdulla Khoory, Javier Hermana, Mateo Alvarez, and Umar Khan


About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today's leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED's annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Monica Lewinsky, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a "wish," or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to  thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.